Dubai: A woman won her appeal on Sunday and was cleared of consuming hashish after her lawyer contended that his client, who suffers from a bipolar disorder, used the drug for medical purposes.
The Dubai Appeal Court overturned the primary ruling [a four-year imprisonment] against the 25-year-old British woman and acquitted her after she pleaded not guilty.
In June, the Dubai Court of First Instance sentenced the woman to four years in jail followed by deportation after convicting her of consuming hashish.
She and her father had contended before the primary court that she used the substance for medical purposes as she suffers from bipolar disorder.
Advocate Saeed Al Geelani, who defended the Briton before the appellate court, argued: “My client used the substance for medical purposes. And when she used the substance, she did not have any criminal intention. Since my client was detained and questioned and until her case was referred to court, she had constantly pleaded not guilty contending that she used the drug because she suffers from a bipolar disorder.”
Delivering Sunday’s ruling in courtroom 20, presiding judge Eisa Mohammad Al Sharif cancelled the four-year jail term and acquitted the woman. The deportation order was also overturned.
A drug enforcement officer claimed that the Briton was arrested at her residence in Palm Jumeirah following an informant’s tip off in February 2014.
Advocate Al Geelani defended: “Law enforcement procedures were carried out improperly and unlawfully against my client. She used to take chemical medications for her disorder. But since she started suffering the side effects of the chemical medications, she resorted to the alternative medications. Shortly before she entered the UAE, she visited a special clinic in her homeland and took that substance for medical purposes. Her doctors had prescribed to her the alternative medicine to avoid the negative side effects of the chemical treatments that she had been taking for her bipolar disorder. Evidently she did not have any criminal intent. Considering her disease, she cannot be held liable for her behaviour.”
The lawyer further provided the appellate court with all the required medical checkups, prescriptions and reports to confirm that the woman had no criminal intent.
Sunday’s ruling remains subject to appeal before the Cassation Court within 30 days.